Shares New Single “Iris2Iris”
Announces New Album: Love Here Listen – March 5, 2021
Out via Memphis Industries
UK singer and producer, Barbarossa – real name, James Mathé – is now sharing his new single, “Iris2Iris”, listen here.
The tender, fuzzy electronica arrives in-tandem with the news of his sixth album, Love Here Listen, which is set for release via Memphis Industries on March 5, 2021. For this latest batch of songs, Mathé has collaborated with producer du jour, Ghost Culture (Daniel Avery, Kelly Lee Owens, Falle Nioke) at his studio in Margate, Kent in the South East of England.
Swimming in the inky blackness of the North Sea near his studio gives Mathé the out-of-body jolt that he needs to get things aligned, shed the superfluous, and focus on the nitty-gritty. Taking to the sea on most days, through the rain or shine, the darkness and cold somehow strip away layers of calcified thought, allowing Mathé to ask the real questions and deal with personal trauma and stress. Most of these swims can be heard on this new record which marks a touching and deeply-earnest addition to the Barbarossa catalogue.
This new single, “Iris2Iris” arrives off the back of a string of tipped singles (FLOOD, Clash, The Line of Best Fit), this time demonstrating Mathe’s gift for understated electro balladry. It arrives, thematically, as a song inspired by trying to live in the present, confronting challenges that come your way.
Piercing and warm electronic elements craft this infectious rhythm and provide complexity to the orchestration. Then the vocals are introduced into the mix and the lyrics provide an elated effort. Barbarossa captivates with the sultry vocal harmonies which ooze appeal and compliment the growing soundscape.
“I was thinking about how I have moments of clarity more and more as I get older of what is really meaningful in my life and how I can best use my time in this life,” explains James. “The moments are often short-lived though, so I look at ways of accessing this mental state more. My kids bring me into this state and nature too. I jump in icy water now I live by the sea and it brings me into fight or flight, it brings what’s important to the forefront of my mind. The song is about spending more of your life with your eyes open, confronting everything that you are dealt with.”
Barbarossa and Ghost Culture worked with a limited range of vintage synths – a Mono Poly, Korg MS-20 a Roland SH-101 and a Juno 108 borrowed from the local skate store Palm Bay Skates – with the recordings bounced down to Mathé’s Fostex R8 reel to reel to give it that undeniable warmth. Mathé says of the recording process: “It was probably the most stress-free record to date and so much fun just messing around with synth arps. It’s easy with James as we really understand each other and I trust him totally. He lives five minutes’ walk along the seafront from me. We even jumped in the sea a couple of times after lunch”.
Love Here Listen is Mathé’s sixth album since his debut, Sea Like Blood, released on the Fence Collective back in 2006, since which time he’s joined Jose Gonzales live show, become a member of Junip, toured with POLICA and This is the Kit and morphed from acoustic troubadour to electronic song smithery all the while seemingly searching for an elusive balance between hopefulness and melancholy. On Love Here Listen, thanks to a reconnecting with the visceral forces of nature, it feels like he has found it.
Love Here Listen
March 5, 2021
1. Always Free
6. Long Wave
7. Make It Through
8. Awakeners Awaken Us
10. Love Here Listen